Rolls-Royce to begin testing first fully electric vehicle

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On-road testing of Rolls-Royce’s first fully electric car – Spectre – is about to begin on public roads. The company says it has conceived the most demanding test program in its history, covering 2.5 million kilometers to simulate more than 400 years of use.

Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös explained that engineers will evaluate the prototypes in “all four corners of the world to push this new motor car to the limit. They will be tested in all conditions and over all terrains on their multi-million-mile journey that will literally accelerate Rolls-Royce into the future.”

The electric car sits on Rolls-Royce’s aluminum architecture, which debuted in the Phantom in 2017, and offers a scalable, flexible spaceframe developed for various types of powertrain.

Müller-Ötvös added, “At Rolls-Royce, we have been experimenting with an electric powertrain for some time. In 2011 we revealed 102EX, a fully operational all-electric Phantom. We followed this in 2016 with our fully electric 103EX, which represented our vision for the marque several decades into the future.

“These extraordinary products prompted a huge amount of interest in electric powertrain technology among our clients. They considered it the perfect fit for Rolls-Royce. And, over the past decade, I have been repeatedly asked, ‘When will Rolls-Royce go electric?’ and ‘When will you produce your first electric car?’ I answered with an unambiguous promise: ‘Rolls-Royce will go electric, starting this decade.’ Today, I’m keeping my word.

“With this new product, we set out our credentials for the full electrification of our entire product portfolio by 2030. By then, Rolls-Royce will no longer be in the business of producing or selling any internal combustion engine products,” Müller-Ötvös concluded.

Customer deliveries of Spectre are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023.

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017. Having started out as assistant editor for a number of titles including Engine + Powertrain Technology International, Automotive Testing Technology International and Professional Motorsport World, he was appointed editor of E+PTI in 2020. Sam produces content for both the magazine and website.

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